Milan, the incredible Paul Murray, Tyneside No 1


I never like to hear Celtic fans talk about weaknesses in opponents like Milan. They may be weaker than they were a decade ago but Milan have never been weak. The one thing Celtic have in their favour is the element of surprise, despite last season’s epic achievements. Milan will have read the screaming headlines, ‘spine of the team sold’. They will know little about how effective Celtic can use the vast open spaces of the San Siro.

After defending resolutely against Barca, Celtic looked like a far better team against a less effective Juventus but we found the limit to our abilities. Juve exploited the gaps in defence left as we took the game to them. I would rather defend in numbers and take our chances on the break than try to go toe-to-toe in midfield.

The San Siro seems to bring the best out of Celtic. Jock Stein went there three times, drawing after 90 minutes on each occasion; losing once after extra time. Gordon Strachan’s team were also level after regulation time, losing only after extra time, and lost narrowly in a Champions League group stage game. Martin O’Neill’s Celtic came within three minutes of securing a draw before conceding twice late on.

There can be fewer European grounds on which Celtic have performed as well. Wednesday will require another almighty and intense effort but that is something Celtic are never lacking. Milan may not fear us, but they have reason to be worried.

I listened to former Rangers director Paul Murray on BBC Radio Scotland over the weekend. I know books have been written on the downfall of that club but I could write one on his own contribution. As a non-executive director, Murray’s job was to be the eyes and ears of other shareholders, to ensure the business of the club was in order and carried out properly. He was in a position to ask awkward questions, in fact, it was his job to ask awkward questions and to ensure threats to the club were uncovered and addressed.

In this instance he failed absolutely. Despite this, he trumpeted the 50% decline in the club’s debt during his tenure as a badge of honour, he told us his namesake, Sir David, was exclusively responsible for the sale to Craig Whyte and for the consequences of the EBT debacle. We were informed that Rangers won their EBT case, despite the fact that during the First Tier Tribunal the club accepted they operated an illegal tax scheme for five players, and the remaining issues are a matter of appeal.

Most bizarrely of all he rejected Lord Nimmo Smith’s findings on the conduct of his board before telling us he is absolutely certain he would be judged fit and proper to be a director of a football club. No remorse, not even a hint of self awareness.

Well done to the Tyneside No. 1 Celtic Supporters’ Club who walked from Newcastle to Celtic Park in aid of 1254125 and the Sam Bradley Care Fund. You can support their magnificent effort here.

The new issue of CQN Magazine is out! Click here for a proper read (don’t try to read the graphic below). It’s another great issue, thanks to all who helped.
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  1. Hoping Wednesday sees a return to form for Forster. He hasn’t been the same player for me since the last 16 against Juve. Celtic need Forster back to his best for these games.

  2. BSR



    “Any other CQN’rs the only guy in their work without a Tattoo?”




    I’m the only guy in work WITH one.




    Mindye, I’m the only one that needs told when ‘the plane’ is coming.

  3. Dont you think that carry on over the huns signing two more players might be just Sevco Good News Day. All paper talk.


    Why would they need new players.


    Why SPL standard players with SPL sized wages.


    Surely the pieman isnt having doubts in his own ability to win whatever division he is in.


    This is a strange one if true

  4. Bit surprised to see some on here putting Pukki in a head of Stokes. That’s a nonsense imo. Stokes should be the first name on the teamsheet. Pukki is nowhere near bedded into Celtic to start this match.

  5. Kojo – Without a striker? That would be the first time in the history of our great club, but you may be onto something there.



    Lenny is paid the big bucks to make these decisions. Hopefully he gets this one right.

  6. My Dear Kojo….



    Oor Ginger Tinkerman Has Scuppered Oor Chances In The CL…..



    By Exiling The CannonBall Kid To Lierse..



    Supposedly They Had A Shortage Of Fit Strikers…..



    And He Expected To Go Straight Into The Team……



    However…..He Has Not Even Made The Bench…..



    For The Three League Fixtures Since His Arrival……



    Including The 4-1 Defeat To Club Brugges…



    This Last Weekend….



    Meanwhile…..The Club Are Plunging Down The League Table….



    Now Lying 12th Outta 16 Teams….



    With A Record: P7 W1 D2 L4 Pts5…



    I Notice That He Is The Most Valuable Player In Their Squad….



    With A ‘Notional Market Value’ Of £1.1M



    One Of Their Other Players Is Valued At £1M…..



    The Rest Are Around £500,000..Or Below



    Might As Well Hiv Gone Back To Airdrie On Loan….?



    Our Squad Is Threadbare For The Group Stages….



    I’m Sure It Would Have Been Much More Useful To Keep MegaWattie & J.Irvine….



    Whilst We Were Still In Europe……



    But That’s Strategic Thinking……



    For Oor Green-Eyed ‘Captain Queeg’….



    Tae Ponder Oan….




  7. tigertim



    16:23 on 16 September, 2013



    Your correct 1 game determines the transfer window. A would rather wait till the seasons over and see how they get on. Wilson seems to be a better player now he’s left as most thought he was shit for the majority of his time at Celtic HH

  8. An Dun – Tend to agree, however, the one thing Stokes falls short on is pace, and there may be times when the ball over the top is the only option for us. With Pukki’s pace, this might be a good option.

  9. acgr@hotmail.co.uk - Only 39 free Zadok The Priest ringtones left to give away - Get them while stocks last :_)) on

    kikinthenakas, they’re yours bud. I’ve emailed you back and I’ll bell you in five.




  10. The only time ‘Sammi as lone striker’ was an undisputed success was in the 2-0 game at Ibrox, but he had Paddy busy hunskelpin’ behind him.

  11. My Dear,Dear Kojo…..



    You Lecture Us Constantly…..



    That Samaras Is A Left-Sided Wide Player…



    And Not A ‘Linwood Striker’…….



    Then You Go And Pick Him As The Linwood Striker Agin’ The Milanese…?






    Hmmrrgghhh !






    1) The IRS Hiv Caught Up Wi’ You..?



    2) The Owner Of Those Two Prize Huntin’ Dogs Ye Lost….



    Has Finally Tracked Ye Doon……?



    3) You Skipped Yer Daily Prunes Yesterday Morn…..



    And Are In Urgent Need Of A Suppository….?

  12. hen1rik



    “In the event that Sevco shall by itself, its officers, employees or agents, except in circumstances expressly permitted by this letter, fail to keep and maintain the existence of this letter,the terms hereof and/or the Undertaking in the strictest confidence or Sevco shall purport to assignthe benefit of all or part of this letter and/or the Undertaking the SPL shall be entitled by notice inwriting to Sevco to terminate the benefit of this letter and the Undertaking.”




    The last phrase (above) in the secret letter promising no disciplinary action over the EBT saga is interesting.



    If Charlotte is a current employee/agent/officer then the deal is off.



    I agree with you that the document is the epitome of malfeasance from elected officers with a responsibility to all member clubs.


    The much lauded transparency in action.



    How many other secret deals have been done at the expense of other clubs?


    How can any club have confidence in anyone in office who knew of this document?


    How can fans trust those who agreed to this and knowingly lied to media/fans, either by omission or otherwise?



    No wonder there was a rush to close Charlotte down last weekend.

  13. The Battered Bunnet on

    An Dun



    I think from a man-management perspective, Stokes will get the nod on Wednesday, as dropping him after some decent SPL performances lately would be a kick in the stones.



    But from the perspective of being able to work the lonely shift, win the ball, hold it up, use pace in the wide areas and basically compete against European class defenders, I’ve yet to see anything to recommend him.



    Perhaps he has woken up to the fact that while his young team mates have bounded on, he has developed little at all in the past 3 years and is now determined to put the work in to make up for lost time. If so, it’s a big hurrah from me.

  14. My dear,dear,dear,friend.. The Singing Detective





    Nice tae meet n greet.



    Yep.. Neil, sure hiz done “Number” oan ..oor Maist Promising Kid.



    He couldna hiv Isolated,Tony Mair..if he hid sent him tae Devil’s Island..



    or.so it wid Seem. frum yer Commentary.




    Ah wish Ah could get some Hard Intel oan whit went oan between the Kid and Neil.. but, so far.. Ah hiv drawn a Blank.



    Musta bin a Hellava.. Fall Oot.



    This could End up , badly . .fur the Kid.





    Still, Laughin’

  15. mncelt



    Fair enough. I haven’t seen anything off Pukki bar his goal so I can’t say too much about his pace.



    I’,m fearful to hear Celtic talking about balls over the top and counter attacking at pace. I’m fearful we will cede one half of the pitch to Milan, allowing them to launch attacks with impunity from the half way line.



    That would be a mistake for me. Milan are no Barca or Dortmund. We should have enough about us to leave Stokes and Commons in their half, let’s give them something to worry about.



    If we are to get something from this game, we need to pose a credible threat. I’m fearing Lenny will resort to type and go far too defensive.

  16. Celtic in the CL should always be a defensive team, 1 up front, boring as hell, and build from there. It’s not the Celtic way but in 2013 unfortunately that’s what we’ve got.



    Our approach to the Juve game, a match we could’ve won was shocking.

  17. The Battered Bunnet



    I’m not sure Stokesy as got the chance to prove himself at this level for various reasons. As you say, it’s almost impossible to drop him given his recent form.Wednesday should be his opportunity. For me if Stokes starts, it’s a statement of our intent to play the ball on the ground and get good link up play going, Milan will be much more fearful of that than long balls lumped up to Sammi. We won’t get much change from an Italian team in terms of long ball or corners. We need to play it on the ground, imo that means Stokes all day long.

  18. hen1rik


    17:02 on


    16 September, 2013


    From LawTop20



    The ‘same club’ argument could potentially extend liability and with regards to titles. But it is a national matter for those in charge.





    Worth bumping that on I believe.



    Unfortunately, with the undertaking letter out in the open, we can have no confidence in “those in charge”.




  19. My Dear,dear,dear,friend.. The Singing Detective



    Ah See that ye goat Wan Thing Right.. aboot whit his Happened tae Me.



    but..Ah wullnae tell Ye… Which Wan !



    Sure, Ah agree w it ye ..




    It diz seem that Ah am being.. Inconsistent.. somewhat.


    and going agin Ma Ain Argument.. when Ah suggest the Sammi, should Be oor


    Wan Man oan His Oanio..up front and Center.






    As Ah hiv explained ,elsewhere..



    Sammi, must Play..in all .. Eruopean Games..



    That is a Given.



    So.. The Fact that He is No oor Best Selection fur the Role of the Lonely Linwood Striker.. Must not Get in the Wey o Making a Spot fur him ,in Ma Team Selection






    Ah Do not expect that we shall be doing Much Attacking in this Game, in MA opinion,of course.



    Ah see it .. as a



    Backs Against the Wa’.. and all Hands tae the Wheel.. Confrontation.


    ( whit Wheel?..ed)( How should Ah know?. but, that is whit is written oan the Script,that Ah wiz Handed)



    So Sammi, could come in useful.. at Protecting oor Goal.. During ..one of the Many Onslaughts..which Ah predict , it wull come Under..


    Fur the Full



    Ninety Minutes.



    We wull stand Firm.. and Manage a Draw..



    But.. And Ah nearly furgoat ABOOT THIS…






    Only, if We Have All Hands oan the Wheel!





    Still .Laughin’

  20. I wonder what would happen if Celtic Football club cheated and our directors turned a blind eye what would the media say then ?

  21. Does anyone think the media would say 1 of our directors was a decent Celtic man and he has the club at heart after being on the board when club was liquidated

  22. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again on

    If you play commons you have to play stokes they are on the same wavelength but neither have much to offer defensively. So I’m afraid even though I expect stokes to be player of the year, I wouldn’t have either in this game unless together.


    So, for me it’s got to be Sammi and Pukki, Sammi offers loads in defends and Pukki looks like he’s got the speed to be the lone striker.

  23. hen1rik



    Alex Thompson hasn’t been silenced, he’s been working non stop on stories on the civil unrest in Egypt and the atrocities in Syria almost non stop for several months. Clearly matters of much more importance than the affairs of an ex football team. More power to him in that regard….a real journalist.

  24. heading out for Milan tomorrow morning from Sofia, small 1 hour 30 minute flight into Milan.



    Anyone going over catch you in Duomo Square -)



    Mon the Hoops !!!!

  25. If these are the dirty deals being kept hidden from the public eye now think of the corruption that went on previously without us knowing.

  26. TBJ Praying for Oscar Knox on




    Your just paranoid



    Anyhoo .. the rangers are a new club so we can only count their indiscretions for 15 months

  27. Stairheedrammy says cmon Oscar on

    Strikes me that an organisation like the SFA that relies on government funding should not be taking decisions that consistently favour one section of Scottish society- very much against the wishes of the majority of Scottish football fans- though this is Wee Eck’s Scotland

  28. bob loblaw



    17:48 on 16 September, 2013





    Alex Thompson hasn’t been silenced, he’s been working non stop on stories on the civil unrest in Egypt and the atrocities in Syria almost non stop for several months. Clearly matters of much more importance than the affairs of an ex football team. More power to him in that regard….a real journalist.





    From alextomo.



    RFC is a culture, a way of life, Scots law is utterly irrelevant to reality.



    So a club that died owing millions and robbed creditors out of millions he thinks scots law is utterly irrelevant.



    Silenced and doesn’t want to upset the bears.

  29. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again on

    Bob loblaw,


    Really, war and civil unrest in foreigners lands are more important than domestic legal and sporting corruption ? Both potentially root causes of civil unrest domestically.


    Naw, tomo made it clear when he implicated the two sides of the same coin that he had zero credibility when it came to this story.


    Domestic abuse on both sides was the killer for me, especially after telling all the Huns you know it was a rangers story.

  30. tbj praying for oscar knox



    18:03 on 16 September, 2013





    Your just paranoid



    Anyhoo .. the rangers are a new club so we can only count their indiscretions for 15 months



    I yer right the paranoia is ripping right out of me :))

  31. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    If Stokes is omitted in favour of, say Pukki, I don’t think it could be referred to as “dropped” in the accepted football term.



    It would not be because of form or an indiscretion, but purely down to tactics.



    I posted earlier, calling it horses for courses and this game certainly qualifies for that approach.



    Sammi is not an upfront striker, but has played there as a necessity.



    He will be of more value in his natural position.



    We may be looking for a Tony Watt type breakaway and that is not Anthony’s game.

  32. From LawTop20



    In relation to Scottish football, the relevant song would be: ‘you say it all when you say nothing at all’. #5way

  33. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again on



    There is one way to force the issue, support the resolution

  34. Anyone remember playin milan in the san siro a few years ago and inzaghi missed wat was basically a tap into an empty net??



    From wat i remember he had all the time in the world but inzaghi, being inzaghi, managed to pass the ball into borucs hands wen it seemed easier to score



    The look on arturs face was priceless




  35. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again on



    Toplaw20 was asked advice on the resolution and ignored it, just Another self publicist gobshite

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